Once you get to college, you realize how insanely different your relationship with professors is than your previous relationships with your teachers that you had in high school. Especially if you go to a big school with big lectures, you will come to realize that you have very little direct contact with your professors.
Because I don’t go to a big school, though, and instead go to a smaller school with small class sizes, I do have a lot of contact with my professors. I have even found it super useful to develop relationships with them and even continue to be in touch with some after I’m done with their classes.
This has been so beneficial to me for getting advice when needed, will be useful in the future for whenever I need a recommendation, and just makes me happy. I love being able to talk to professors when I see them around campus and have that positive relationship because they left an impression on me and/or I left a mark on them as a student.
Anyways, you may find it intimidating to make a true and lasting connection with any of your professors. It’s definitely possible though! Here are some guidelines on how to do it!:
- Introduce yourself personally – in the beginning of the semester, once you realize this is a professor you want to have a long lasting relationship with, introduce yourself in person and spark up a conversation. You can compliment the professor on how much you love their class and teaching style or just conversate about shared ground you feel you have with him or her. This will make them remember you and make you more comfortable with them. This may seem weird but professors love their students and definitely enjoy talking with them!
- Ask questions or for advice – one reason that professors are there is to serve as a guide through your college career. Not only are they there to educate you, but also to help you with problems and instill their life knowledge upon you. If you’re looking for advice on your professor’s class, future classes, future careers, other courses, or just in life – you should talk to your professor about it if you feel comfortable doing so! This helps in building a relationship.
- Utilize office hours – professors set office hours in order to aid and talk to students, so attending them is a great way to get to know your instructors and let them get to know you. Attend their office hours and ask questions, get extra help, and learn about each other!
- Participate – one of the best ways for your professor to notice and appreciate you in class is to participate regularly. Raise your hand and make comments, answer questions, and ask them too. Be an involved student who shows that you are eager to learn and are keeping up with the material.
- Keep in touch – even after your class is over, keep in touch with your favorite professors! They undoubtedly love hearing from students, especially the ones they truly enjoyed having in class. Send them an email, get lunch, or pop into their office hours. Even take them again if you can! I’ve taken my favorite professor’s class three times!
What are your favorite ways to build lasting relationships with your college professors?